Signs of a Clogged Laundry Drain

Signs of a clogged toilet or worse, a clogged sewer line are nasty but easy to detect. A clogged laundry drain, on the other hand, will often go unnoticed, until the most obvious sign common to all clogged drains makes itself apparent and your basement is flooded. Of course, it’s more an effect than a sign at that point, which is why we have early warning signs of a clogged laundry drain listed for you next.

Gurgling Bubbles

While bubbles are a telltale sign of drain clogs in formation, they are difficult to detect around laundry drains. Detergents and soap create bubbles constantly, so how is one supposed to tell those bubbles apart from bubbles that typically signify a drain that’s starting to clog? If a clog is indeed forming, then the water will drain slowly with a gurgling sound. Therefore, all you need to do is keep an eye on the drainage speed and an ear out for gurgling noises.


This is an advanced sign that immediate professional assistance is needed, and yet it often goes undetected. There are many reasons why puddles of water might go undetected, such as:

  • They could stay hidden behind the washing machine initially, especially since that’s where most laundry drain chutes are located.
  • Initially, small puddles can evaporate before they become large enough to be noticeable.
  • If the floor is not even, then the water is likely accumulating at the depressed spots behind the furniture.
  • A cluttered laundry room is quite common, and they make great places for those soapy puddles to hide in.

Whatever the cause, the solution is universal. Check for puddles and water stains thoroughly and regularly. If you find any, get the laundry drain unclogged as soon as possible. Unlike toilets, laundry drains are much trickier to clean, especially if not maintained and cleaned for a long time.

In case the buildup is too thick and regular cleaning and poking do not seem to be doing the job, it’s time to call a plumber. If it’s a plumbing emergency or routine job, search for plumbing companies St. Louis like Maplewood Plumbing, which you can call on for drain cleaning.

Musty Smells

Clogged drains never smell nice, but clogged laundry drains may not smell bad for a long time. Because we use scented detergents and cleaners in our washing machines regularly, the buildup is relatively clean and not as dirty initially, especially when compared to any other drain gunk. However, once the gunk buildup becomes large enough to create puddles, that’s when mold and mildew will begin to grow in your laundry room.

Although mold too can stay hidden for a long time, the musty smell and a damp feel are unmistakable signs of damp and mold growth. As the puddles will also damage the structure itself, you really need to call a plumber if things have escalated to that extent. If you wait too long and the mold spreads, you may also need to pay extra for mold removal.

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